History of King's Highway 121:
King's Highway 121 was a minor collector highway which ran through the heart of Central Ontario, from Highway 35 south of Fenelon Falls to Highway 28 at Paudash. Highway 121 had one of the strangest routes of any highway in Ontario, with a meandering south loop that was apparently intended as an alternate route to Highway 35 between Fenelon Falls and Minden. In fact, Highway 121 intersected Highway 35 no fewer than three times over a distance of 60 km. At Minden, Highway 121 assumed a more logical east-west routing, connecting to Highway 118 at Haliburton Village and ultimately to Highway 28 south of Bancroft. Most of the route was downloaded in 1998. The surviving portion of Highway 121 between Haliburton Village and Paudash was renumbered as Highway 118 in 2003.
The history of Highway 121 dates back to May 1955, when the Ontario Department of Highways (DHO) designated a new King's Highway between Fenelon Falls and Highway 126 near Union Creek. This new provincial highway was assumed under the Highway 121 designation on May 25, 1955. Shortly thereafter, a decision was made to renumber Highway 126 between Union Creek and Minden as an extension of Highway 121. Initially, the new route between Fenelon Falls and Minden was 57 km in length, but it was extended east from Minden towards Bancroft the following year. On March 7, 1956, the DHO assumed another road from Minden to Tory Hill, and designated this new road as a section of Highway 121 as well. With this new extension to Tory Hill, Highway 121 was 108 km in length, which included a short concurrent route with Highway 35 through Minden. The section of Highway 121 from Powles Corners to Fenelon Falls was originally a section of Highway 35, but it was renumbered as Highway 121 following the completion of the Fenelon Falls Bypass. In late 1955, Highway 35 was rerouted onto the new bypass west of the town.
Highway 121 was mostly paved before the highway was designated. The only gravel-surfaced section existed between Loon Lake (east of Haliburton Village) and Tory Hill. However, this section was paved in 1959. In 1964, Highway 121 assumed the entire routing of Highway 109 (#2) and a short section of Secondary Highway 500. This route renumbering resulted in Highway 121 being extended easterly from its old terminus at Tory Hill to the Highway 28 Junction in Paudash. The two highways that were absorbed by Highway 121 were already paved. As a result, the route renumbering in 1964 effectively completed Highway 121 to its pre-1998 length of 134 km.
During 1997-1998, the entire southern portion of Highway 121 was transferred or "downloaded" to the Counties of Victoria and Haliburton. On March 31, 1997, the section of Highway 121 from the Highway 35 Junction at Powles Corners to the County Road 37 Junction near Burnt River was transferred from the province to the County of Victoria (now known as the City of Kawartha Lakes). Another section of Highway 121 from the Victoria-Haliburton County Boundary near Kinmount northerly to the Highway 35 Junction near Minden was transferred to the County of Haliburton on March 31, 1997. This was followed by the transfer of two additional sections of Highway 121 from the Highway 35 Junction north of Minden to Haliburton Village and the surviving section of Highway 121 between the County Road 37 Junction and the Victoria-Haliburton County Boundary near Kinmount on January 1, 1998. Within the Counties of Victoria and Haliburton, the former section of Highway 121 between Powles Corners and Minden is now known as Kawartha Lakes Road 121 and Haliburton Road 121, respectively. A portion of Highway 121 south of Kinmount actually straddles the boundary between the City of Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough County. Between Minden and Haliburton Village, former Highway 121 is now known as Haliburton Road 21. The remaining provincially-owned section of King's Highway 121 from Haliburton Village to the Highway 28 Junction in Paudash existed up until 2003, when it was renumbered as King's Highway 118. The route renumbering, which officially took place on May 1, 2003, extended the length of Highway 118 to 128 km.
Highway 121 is a rather remote two-lane highway for much of its length. Services are rather scarce along Highway 121 outside of large communities. The only major towns along the highway are Fenelon Falls, Minden, Haliburton Village and Paudash. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit on Highway 121 is 80 km/h (50 mph). Please visit the Highway 121 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 121.
Additional Information About King's Highway 121: